“In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death.” Does this ring a bell? These are the vows that engage you in a lifelong pursuit of building a fundamentally strong, good marriage and keeping your husband happy. But sometimes the ups and downs in your journey as a married couple might make you question your role as a wife. If that urges you to seek advice on how to be a better wife and improve your marriage, we completely understand.
In this article, trauma-informed counseling psychologist Anushtha Mishra (MSc, Counseling Psychology), who specializes in providing therapy for concerns such as trauma, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, grief, and loneliness among others, writes about how you can make your marriage work as a woman and shares tips on enhancing your marriage in every possible way.
25 Ways To Be A Better Wife And Improve Your Marriage
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Marriage is not just the summer or winter of your life, it’s all four seasons of the year. You invest your energy and time into nurturing it and making it blossom. And that requires both partners to take the lead or responsibility. It requires a special set of skills to be able to share your life with another person.
Renowned American psychologist Dr. John Gottman mentions that most marriages fall apart in the first 7 years. So, if you don’t want to be another statistic, it’s crucial to know if there are any signs of trouble in your marriage early on before it hits rock bottom. That involves reevaluating your actions as a wife, as a woman, to figure out ways to strengthen your marriage. Below are 25 tips on how to be a better wife and improve your marriage:
1. Edit yourself to enhance your marriage
Kindness is an essential component of any happy marriage. The world is a difficult place with so many obstacles and insensitive people coming our way. The least we can do is to create a safe, nurturing space inside the four walls of our home. The most successful couples out there are kind to each other. If you’ve been thinking, “I want to learn how to improve myself as a wife to strengthen my bond with my spouse“, here’s what you can do:
- Honest conversations are important but you should censor yourself and avoid vocalizing every critical thought you have about your partner while discussing triggering topics
- Our stress levels fly high after the day’s hard work. Make an effort to treat your spouse with kindness at the end of a long day
- Non-sensual physical touches like hugging and hand-holding have a therapeutic effect. Offer your partner enough of that
- Avoid the blame game and sarcastic comments in an argument to be a loving spouse
Related Reading: 23 Little Things To Make Your Marriage Stronger Everyday
2. Give yourself some space
Giving yourself some space away from your spouse allows you to check in with yourself and work on your personal growth. This space also ensures you don’t suffocate each other. It helps you make your marriage work as a woman or even as a man. Take some alone time and invest it in self-care and re-energizing your body and soul.
Your marriage will work much better as you come back all happy and more emotionally invested in the relationship. Communicate your need for space to your partner. You can start by explaining what you mean when you say space, and when, how, and why you may need that space for yourself.
3. Give your spouse some space
Just like you need space, so does your spouse. One of the things a wife should do for her husband is to create room for that space without begrudging it. Having time apart or personal space is extremely important to keep the marriage fresh and form a healthy relationship. It helps in the maintenance of self-identity while still being a couple.
After all, we should count independence and strength as qualities of a good wife rather than neediness and clinginess. Creating these spaces for yourself and your partner will be easier when you can become each other’s best friends and speak the same love language so there’s less misunderstanding about the need for space. Just remember, space doesn’t always mean physical or emotional distance.
4. Focus on the positives of your spouse
We all have some healthy and some unhealthy traits and we all want to be noticed for our better side. A loving spouse would make an effort to notice some of those positive traits in their partner instead of focusing on the other aspects of their personality. It might sometimes get very difficult to look at the positives and support your partner, especially when you are angry, sad, or going through something difficult in your relationship.
But at these points, remembering the inherent goodness in your loved ones becomes all the more crucial. Understanding your spouse’s love language and everything that is laudable in your marriage might help you minimize what hurts. Remember that your partner is human too. An important factor in how to be a better wife and improve your marriage is being aware and appreciative of your partner’s strengths.
5. Repair and exit the arguments to better your marriage
According to Dr. John Gottman, learning how to exit an argument and repair a situation that can spiral out of control due to an argument holds the secret to being a good wife. You can attempt to repair such situations by using:
- Making caring remarks
- Making it apparent that you’re on common ground, meaning that you are a team
- Backing down
- In general, offering appreciation for your partner and their feelings
If an argument or fighting in a marriage spirals out of control and leads to a heated situation, take time out in the form of breaks and get back to the topic only when you are both calm.
6. Soften your approach to conflicts
Arguments usually erupt when one partner escalates the conflict by insulting or disdainful remarks. When you bring up the concerns or problems you have gently without blame-shifting, it helps you to calmly engage in conflict resolution with your spouse.
So here’s what you do as a wife for enhancing your marriage and restoring peace: Start a conversation softly and listen to your spouse’s perspective as well. Do complain but don’t blame your spouse for everything. Use “I” statements to express yourself instead of “you” statements and, most importantly, be polite and considerate.
Related Reading: Sensible Tips For Conflict Resolution In A Relationship
7. Let your spouse influence you
If you’ve been constantly feeling or asking yourself, “My husband deserves better than me. How to improve myself as a wife?”, then I suggest you start accepting influence from your spouse. If you are rigid with your schedule and plans and don’t make space for your spouse’s requests or priorities, you could end up in a shaky marriage.
A wife’s capacity to be influenced by her spouse is just as important as it is for the spouse to be influenced by their wife. Dr. John Gottman says that a true partnership happens only when both partners allow themselves to be influenced by each other. This is one way of answering your question, “How to be a better wife to my husband?”
8. Be vulnerable with your spouse
Being vulnerable in a marriage means expressing the sides of yourself in which you have the least confidence or which are deeply personal, and then allowing your spouse to touch them and respond to them. It is scary but, if you find yourself wondering, “How to improve my marriage with my husband?”, then being vulnerable is one of the best ways. It makes your spouse and yourself feel supported, connected, and truly loved.
9. Respect your spouse
Mutual respect in a relationship plays an important part in determining how long-lasting it can be. It builds a strong foundation. Presence and display of mutual respect are just as important as trust and care in building a secure relationship. Being a good wife means always showing the respect that you carry for your partner.
- Listen to them without distractions
- Admit mistakes and apologize when you’ve hurt them or been rude to them
- Honor their sentiments, feelings, and wishes in every possible way
- Proudly talk about their good qualities and their contribution to your life in front of others
- Try small gestures to show your appreciation like cooking their favorite meal or buying them flowers
10. Discuss your opinions with your spouse
Most people tend to turn to their partners for an exchange of opinion. Being a wife, if you seek your spouse’s advice on complicated matters or simply ask for their opinions and communicate yours to them without looking for approval, it will make them feel valued. Relationships are collaborative and as much as your opinions matter, your partner’s thoughts matter too.
So, aim to cultivate harmony toward each other’s opinions, hence improving communication in the relationship. If you want to play the role of a great wife in your marriage, become more receptive to your spouse’s opinions and perspectives. If they seem confusing to you, you can always ask gently what they are seeing that you don’t.
11. Respect your spouse’s privacy
You have the right to privacy in any kind of relationship, including that with your spouse, friends, or family. Both you and your spouse have the right to keep parts of yourself or your lives private for the sole reason that both of you want to. A sense of personal space and emotional and physical privacy between partners is a sign of a healthy marriage. Otherwise, you end up hampering your intimacy rather than enhancing it.
12. High standards are good in a marriage
According to Dr. John Gottman, happy couples set a high standard for their relationship. The most successful marriages are those in which the couple refuses to accept harmful behavior from one another. If you find yourself wondering, “How to improve my marriage with my husband?”, the answer is to have a low tolerance for bad behavior from the very beginning of the marriage. This ensures that you will both be happier together down the road of the highs and lows of your marriage.
13. Share the financial expectations
Many marriages are full of disagreements over finances, especially when there is a big gap in wages between both partners or there is only one bread earner in the family. You and your spouse might have different expectations about money and it might be difficult to see a financial situation from your spouse’s perspective.
Communicating your financial expectations and coming to an agreement on how to handle money and split finances can be one of the tips on how to be a better wife and improve your marriage. Discussing this with your partner can help with building mutual trust and respect as well.
Related Reading: Sharing Expenses In A Relationship – 9 Things To Consider
14. Practice patience
Patience keeps a marriage alive. It’s not easy to master patience and it takes a lot of strength and determination to practice it. Patience in a relationship can work wonders, not just in the marriage itself but for both partners as well. You can start practicing patience by:
- Getting to know your partner as a person
- Accepting their flaws
- Most importantly, listening to your spouse
15. Spend more time with your spouse
If you are wondering what a man needs from his wife, it’s her time and affection for the most part. And we think your actions as a good wife should center around that thought. This, however, is not supposed to come from any kind of compulsion but from pure love. If spending quality time with your spouse is your love language, then nothing like it.
- Cooking or reading together has such a healing effect on your bonding as a married couple
- Morning walk or yoga class might be a great shared activity for couples who are a sucker for a healthy lifestyle
- You could try new things like exploring tourist spots around your city, learning a language, or finding a new hobby to pursue together
- Romantic dates, movie nights, playing games – take your pick for the next weekend
- Even doing laundry might feel great when you share the task with your spouse
16. Listen to the needs of your partner
Listening strengthens relationships and demonstrates attentiveness, care, and respect. One of the things a wife should do for her husband is to listen to him without biases and judgment. Only then do you start to truly hear and understand the true meaning of his words.
The strong foundation of a good marriage stands on being more empathetic in the relationship and paying attention to your partner’s emotions without bias. Don’t jump to solutions right away, rather pay attention to their body language and reflect on what they’re saying.
17. Let your spouse take the lead from time to time
Remember that trust exercise for couples where you fall on your back trusting that the person behind you will catch you? It’s almost like that. Letting your partner lead at times shows that you are ready to fall on your back because they are there to catch you.
One of the solutions to your “My husband deserves better than me. What should I do to be a perfect wife?” dilemma is letting your spouse take the lead sometimes and, at others, your spouse lets you lead them. Then there may be times when you both knot your hands together and lead each other home.
Related Reading: How To Be In Your Feminine Energy With A Man – 11 Tips
18. Use “I” statements to express your feelings
Start your sentences with “I” to not seem critical and prevent your partner from taking on a defensive position. Using “I” statements can help you convey what you’re feeling and give way to a productive, positive conversation instead of sounding accusatory, which can become a red flag conversation.
You can say, “I don’t feel loved right now” instead of saying “You don’t love me at all”. Instead of “You hurt me a lot,” say, “I feel hurt right now.” The difference is that the focus is on how you’re feeling rather than accusing your spouse. This is one of the most important ways to strengthen your marriage.
19. Flirt and make time for intimacy
One of the effective tips on how to be a better wife and improve your marriage is by being flirtatious and making time for physical intimacy with your spouse. Most couples usually get comfortable with each other and the downside to that is forgetting how to turn on the charm leading to a lack of intimacy.
Intimacy without any distractions is a great way to bond with your partner. It can increase the levels of commitment and emotional connection between partners. A fulfilling sex life can do wonders to bring back the spark in your relationship. It is even better if you make it a priority.
20. Don’t control your partner
If you wonder, “What are the ways to better my marriage?”, then the first thing to do is to stop micromanaging and controlling your partner, displaying one of the signs of a control freak. This kind of behavior can be detrimental to your marriage. You can do so by:
- Being mindful of your own needs that your controlling behavior fulfills
- Find ways to trust your partner and don’t make choices for your spouse, rather encourage them to do what is right for them
21. Try to be flexible with your spouse
Naturally, you and your spouse won’t agree on everything no matter how in sync you are. In fact, maybe your differences were a part of what attracted you both to each other. One of the qualities of a good wife is to understand that not all differences in opinions have to be resolved as long as there is mutual respect between two partners. It is okay to agree to disagree. Listening to your spouse’s point of view becomes important here.
22. Share household chores
From grocery shopping to paying the bills – taking responsibility for all the little things around the house is not the sign of a great wife (not a great husband either). According to the Pew Research Center, a 2016 research study of heterosexual couples showed that 56% of couples said sharing household chores is important in their marriages. If you have questions about what are the ways to better my marriage, then this is one of them. Instead of taking on more than you can handle, facilitate load-sharing in your marriage. To do this,
- You could create a list of the chores and divide tasks between you and your spouse
- You may decide not to interfere when and how one gets their part done or set a day aside for some shared responsibilities and get a chance to spend time together
- Don’t rudely criticize each other’s way of doing a task rather you can discuss how a chore can be done more efficiently and neatly
- The right thing to do is to appreciate your spouse to show that you value their contribution
Related Reading: Sharing Household Chores And Responsibilities Equally In Marriage
23. Be mindful of the four horsemen
When you find yourself in a conflict with your spouse, make a conscious effort to avoid the ‘four horsemen’ or four negative behaviors that prove disastrous to a relationship, as identified by Dr. Gottman. These are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Try engaging in more constructive behavior instead.
After the conflict is over, reflect on how things went down. Be mindful if you or your partner engaged in any of the behaviors listed as the ‘four horsemen’, and if so, were you able to catch yourself and take a different approach? Be mindful of what went well and what you could improve for next time.
24. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Communication is one of the most, if not the most, important factors of any healthy and happy relationship and there’s no way to make your marriage better without talking about it. Communication is about connecting and using your verbal skills to fulfill your and your partner’s needs in the relationship and to know each other on a deeper level.
The answer to the question, “How to be a better wife to my husband?”, is by being okay with communicating with your partner, openly and honestly. Communication happens both ways. This means that as entitled as you are to voice out your own feelings and thoughts, so is your spouse. Here’s what you do as a wife for effective communication in your marriage:
- Your spouse is no mind reader. So always try to be explicit about your concerns, doubts, and other emotional needs
- Choose open conversation over assuming things
- Don’t suppress negative emotions for days to avoid conflict
- Silent treatment or a shout show, both can cast a bad spell on your marriage
- Share every small stuff and experience with your spouse after a long day
25. Support and encourage your spouse
You know what a man needs from his wife? Her unconditional support and encouragement through not just the good times but the difficult phases of life as well. Even research shows that support from your partner is essential for relationship satisfaction. We aren’t asking you to give up on your own dreams and aspirations in the process. But being a wife, your moral support and validation have the power to boost his confidence and help him become the best version of himself.
- Dr. John Gottman mentions that most marriages fall apart in the first 7 years. Therefore, it is crucial to know if there are any signs of trouble in your marriage early on
- Being kind to your spouse, giving them space, and focusing on their positives are important to be an understanding wife
- Modifying your approach to conflict, respecting your spouse, and setting high standards for them are crucial as well
- Make time for intimacy and be vulnerable with your spouse
- Support your spouse and remember that communication is the key
Yes, it takes more than just love to make a marriage work and hopefully, we have given you all the answers to how to become a better partner and how you can strive to put in the effort to make it bloom. But sometimes things may become strained and it might seem difficult to navigate without the intervention of a family therapist. Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is here for you to help you move one step closer to a harmonious relationship.
Marriage is not a walk in the park and when you have to spend every day with your spouse, it might seem even harder. However, following these 25 tips on how to be a better wife and improve your marriage can show positive changes and pay off for the better.
This article has been updated in April 2023.
Marriage is choosing your spouse over and over again every day. By making this choice, you can make your marriage better. Also, communicate openly and honestly with your spouse. Have conversations about your and your spouse’s needs and wants every now and then.
Listen to your spouse and use “I” statements as much as you can. These are a few things you can do every day that would increase marital satisfaction for both of you. Also remember, that the onus of making your marriage better is on both the partners. Relationships are collaborative and, therefore, encourage your spouse to do the same.
You can strengthen a weak marriage by reflecting on your communication patterns. More often than not, the most pressing reason that can make the marriage go frail is miscommunication or just the lack of it. Both of you explore your needs from the marriage and communicate how they can be fulfilled with each other.
Also, prioritize your spouse and be vulnerable with them which is very important for deep bonding. Most importantly, remember that every marriage has weak moments which doesn’t automatically mean that the whole foundation of your marriage is weak.